There are many dangers associated with teaching hatred to the next generation and it’s an issue that’s been getting worse and worse as time goes by. This year alone the feelings between people of different races, religions, and cultures have been heating up to a degree that we haven’t seen in many areas up to this point and has been enveloping those that have no other recourse than to at least attempt to fight back with whatever they can muster. Unfortunately the answer isn’t to reinforce hate with more hate. The best that can be done is to counter it with something else, though it’s been highly debated that despite the fact that hatred cannot beat hatred, love is just as inadequate.
Johnny Lee Clary would choose to disagree however since he’s seen firsthand just how it can work and how it can humble those that have nothing but hate in their hearts for others. His story is very inspirational since he has been quite candid about how he was raised in the deep south and was given the same values concerning black folks that many people still hold onto today. Throughout his life he was taught that African Americans were the enemy, that they were impure, and that anyone that wasn’t white was to be feared and even despised for what they were doing to white America.
The problem with this is that fear is a natural response. It’s something that human beings learn on their own through their interactions with the world. It’s different for everyone, and some don’t experience it until later on in life. But hatred is a learned thing, as from the earliest age children know nothing of hatred for others unless they see it modeled and are taught the various mannerisms that go with it. Fear is a powerful motivator towards hatred as it can be used in a very negative way to demonstrate why someone should fear another person and why they should be willing to strike back against what they fear in order to master it.
Human beings tend to fear what they don’t know, and as a result they come to hate the very thing they fear since it makes many people feel weak, inadequate, and even powerless. Those that feel this way are often taught that to master your fear, to strike back at it, is to prove that you are stronger than that which you are afraid of. In too many cases involving humanity however this means striking out at those that are different, that are viewed as lesser in some way. To teach hatred is not to subvert the natural order of things, but it is a serious detriment when considering that it is often used to turn one human against another.
Love is the obvious opposite of hatred but it is the more dangerous course more often for those that would use it to stem the tide of hate that is levied against them. The means of acceptance and forgiveness are positive in their manner and inclusive in how they are used, but when used upon those that live with violence and hatred in their hearts it is a tool that can backfire just as much as it succeeds.
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